randomfilipino

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Just took the DAT 3/12/10 today with the calculator. 20AA/20TS/20PAT, first attempt. I want to say thanks to all the SDNers for the studying advice and feedback on review materials - this board has been so invaluable, especially those moments of studying frustration when I just wanted to jump off the nearest tall building. I did Kaplan Class + Destroyer - will do breakdown later, time for some EtOH...
 

prsndwg

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Just took the DAT 3/12/10 today with the calculator. 20AA/20TS/20PAT, first attempt. I want to say thanks to all the SDNers for the studying advice and feedback on review materials - this board has been so invaluable, especially those moments of studying frustration when I just wanted to jump off the nearest tall building. I did Kaplan Class + Destroyer - will do breakdown later, time for some EtOH...


well done.. get ready to answer A LOT of Qs about Calculator to everyone.
 

azar87

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great scores im glad the combo of kaplan and destroyer worked out for you best of luck in applying and enjoy ur break we look fwd to ur breakdown
 
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dentalWorks

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Just took the DAT 3/12/10 today with the calculator. 20AA/20TS/20PAT, first attempt. I want to say thanks to all the SDNers for the studying advice and feedback on review materials - this board has been so invaluable, especially those moments of studying frustration when I just wanted to jump off the nearest tall building. I did Kaplan Class + Destroyer - will do breakdown later, time for some EtOH...

nice balance 20/20/20
 
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Congratulations! Solid scores. I think we're all would like to know more about the calculators. When you get a chance. Thanks :)
 

randomfilipino

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I know they're not super impressive scores, but I'm pretty satisfied, this being my first attempt. I also did the bulk of my studying while school was going on and work ~30 hrs a week, which made it very hard to find quality study time, much less 4.5 hrs to do practice tests. That being said, I just wanted to make my contribution to SDN, since I've essentially been lurking the boards for the better part of 2 years:

____________B-GC-OC-RC-QR-PA-TS-AA
KaplanDia– 13-13-15-19-14-14-14-15
Kaplan Mid– 18-14-18-19-18-21-17-17
Kaplan Fin– 16-14-18-20-16-20-16-17
Kaplan 1 – 17-18-21-20-17-21-17-18
Actual DAT - 20-18-22-23-16-20-20-20

RC: Roadmap + Search and Destroy
So much easier than practice tests. I allotted 20 mins per reading: spent the first 5 min roadmapping/skimming (suggested by Kaplan instructor), then the remaining 15 s&d. More tone and inference questions than I expected, but the readings were actually pretty interesting.

Bio: Cliff's AP Bio, Kaplan, Destroyer
Went through Kaplan's bio section and made notes, same w/ Cliff's. I think the bio portion of the Kaplan Full-Length practice tests were pretty similar in difficulty. The questions were random, but the answer choices were not very misleading - you know it or don't type of thing. I regret spending so much time w/ Bio section of Destroyer - not many questions were similar, and if they were, they were the easier ones that also appeared in Kaplan full-length. It was hard for me to imagine Cliff's being so helpful (since it's for HS students), but honestly- Cliff's, Cliff's, Cliff's.

G chem: Destroyer, Kaplan
Destroyer is pretty good, though I found it really frustrating. I think Destroyer is very effective in really pointing out your weaknesses, as far as G chem. Not much calculation, but the way the solutions were set up really threw me off, which I think led to my low score. I got used to solving stoichiometry, etc all the way through, which DAT didn't really ask you to do. It was mostly comparing proportions.

O chem: Destroyer, McMurry Textbook, ACS Study Guide
I think Orgo is where Destroyer really shines. The roadmaps at the end of the Orgo section were pretty invaluable. Mostly elim/subs, carbocation stability, pretty basic (difficulty, not Nu) rxns, though I was surprised to see a Wittig thrown in. Kaplan Full-length questions were pretty comparable, but you should use other materials to review.

PAT: Kaplan
This section really threw me off - a few of the jpg's didn't even show up! this was really frustrating b/c I think of all the sections, you really have to be in the zone for PAT. I was ok with the first one, but it happened a few more times after and I ended up filing a complaint to the proctor. The angles are VERY close, and each "v" takes up a large portion of your screen (if that makes any sense), so the larger scale makes it hard to compare all 4 angles simultaneously w/o stepping away. Hole punching had some really strange folding patterns.

QR:
I honestly didn't study for this much- I'm terrible at math and I think my score reflects that. The calculator is exactly like the generic windows one (has square root func), and at my testing center you couldn't use the keyboard number pad (mouse entry only). It does save you a lot of time, and they actually still have some questions where you are asked to compare fractions ie which is larger/smaller (protip: use calculator here). Basically I just cherry-picked all the equations that were easier to solve with a calculator, guesstimated on any that I didn't know how to solve within the first 15 seconds. Make sure you really watch the clock, the last few seconds of the section kind of lag and it kind of jumps from "4s remain" to "test is over". When I read about the new calculator function, I started practicing using one by opening up the Windows calculator during the QR portion of my practice exams.

TL;DR - I took Kaplan in Jul 09 and planned to take DAT in Aug, but chickened out b/c of my crappy scores. I was studying for the duration of the Kaplan 6wk course and stopped when school started. I didn't touch DAT materials again until late Jan 2010, so that was basically 6 weeks of studying while taking 13 hrs of classes and working. I basically just studied for DAT as if it were another class - it would get put aside if I had other midterms, and I'd concentrate ONLY on the DAT when they were over. Had Kaplan reset my test scores, and did 1 practice test every Friday the last 3 weeks with Destroyer, McMurry, and Cliff's in between. Finally know what "ass glue" means. Also get used to lots of caffeine and liquid carbs.

Oh and on a final note - you can't bring gum, drinks, or basically anything on your person. I know it sounds stupid, but I have a very specific routine - new mechanical pencil, several pieces of gum, and Diet Coke- that I've stuck to for every single test the past few years. If you're THIS kind of idiosyncratic test taker, keep in mind you won't be able to bring anything for the real thing.
 
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randomfilipino

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Umm.. It's good if it's within your budget and really need some study structure. They kind of give you a six week study plan which is good if you follow it. The instructors can be hit or miss. The online material and practice tests were pretty money though.
 
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AmpedUp

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soo...the hole punching section really worries me, because my scores haven't been higher than 7 out of 15 for that one. I'm using CDP though. However, with Kaplan, I'm getting about 13 or 14 out of 15 on hole punching. What's the real difficulty of that section on the DAT??

Awesome scores by the way. I'm striving for that exact score! Good luck with applications.
 

randomfilipino

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The hole punching's not that different - there's a strategy they taught us in Kaplan course where you basically just draw a square and 3 vert and 3 horz lines to make a 4x4 grid, and just mark a circle from the final hole punch and match it up for each time it unfolds- that should get you through it. I think the angle rankings were the main difference. Keyholes, T/F/S view, and the unfolded shapes were pretty similar.
 

flybry2000

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great job!

I'm getting really excited to take my test (in about a month). Best of luck with applying!:D

Flybry 2000
 
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